Airport Guide: Paris Charles de Gaulle

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Guide

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport is France’s largest airport and is now the busiest airport in the European Union. Before you get there, check out our guide so that you can make the most of your time at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

The name of the airport comes from the French Resistance leader and later President of France, Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle. You may see the airport referred to as Roissy Airport, or Roissy-CDG, thanks to much of the airports land location in Roissy-en-France, a township north of Paris. It is around 30km away from central Paris to its south-west and 30km from Disneyland to its south-east.

Over 100 carriers fly to over 100 countries from the airport, assisting its position as the tenth busiest airport in the world. Air France use the airport as its hub, and over half of the flights are with the French flag-carrier. There are many intercontinental destinations available, as well as short-haul flights partially served by low-cost airlines such as Easyjet, Vueling, Norwegian, and Jet2. The airport has three terminals with Terminals 1 and 2 both having several sub-terminal buildings. Getting between terminals, and even sub-terminals isn’t straight-forward so make sure to check our Charles de Gaulle Airport guide in full if you are transitting through!

 

Charles de Gaulle Airport At-a-glance

Official Website: www.parisaeroport.fr
Unofficial Website: www.easycdg.com (not affiliated to the airport, but very comprehensive)

Airport Code: CDG

Terminals: 

Address: Charles de Gaulle Airport,
95700 Roissy-en-France,
France 

Postal Address: B.P.20101,
95711 Roissy Charles de Gaulle,
France

Gate Checker: www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/flights/flight-departures/informations-flights-departures

Terminal Checker: www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/flights/airlines

Contact Number: +33 170 363 950(international)

Timezone: GMT+1 October-March, GMT+2 March-October

Lost Property Contact:

Website: paris.missingx.com

Lost items get sent to Paris police after 15 days. 

Address: Service des Objets Trouvés de la Préfecture de Police de Paris,
36 Rue des Morillons,
75732 Paris Cedex 15,
France

Map: www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/terminals-map – A basic map showing the layout of the terminal buildings with links to detailed maps of each terminal and sub-terminals.

WiFi: Free WiFi is available throughout the airport. The network names are ‘WIFI-AIRPORT’ or ‘WIFI-AIRPORT-STANDARD’. Premium WiFi is available via the network ‘WIFI-LOYALTY-PROGRAM’ for a fee.

Apps: Charles de Gaulle Airport has apps for both Android and iOS.

Charles de Gaulle Facilities

With such a high number of passengers moving through Charles de Gaulle, there should be no surprise that the airport caters for nearly every service a traveller could want. Luxury shopping brands, bars, gourmet restaurants, art exhibitions, children’s play areas, fast-food, duty-free shopping, PlayStation 4 consoles, work stations, ATM’s, currency conversion and charging points are all present. There are also useful ‘charge boxes’ allow you to charge your electronic devices for free in a locker. 

The terminal you are flying from will restrict your choice, however. You can only enter an airside (i.e. past security) terminal if you have a boarding pass for a flight departing from there. As such, you couldn’t meet a friend or colleague or go to an airport lounge in Terminal 2 airside when your flight departs from Terminal 1. You would need to meet in a landside area. However, all terminals are connected by an autonomous ‘CDGVAL’ shuttle service that runs 24/7.

Although sleeping is allowed at Charles de Gaulle airport, your experience may vary greatly depending on which terminal from which you are flying. Security closes at around 11PM so you will need to pass through beforehand if you’d like to sleep airside (i.e. after security). It is best to avoid sleeping at the metro station as reports suggest it has no patrols and can become a gathering spot for the homeless.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Guide - Yotel

There is a YOTELAir at Terminal 2E allowing travellers to sleep in a bed if staying overnight. The hotel is airside, however, so you cannot stay here unless you are flying from Terminal 2E. Alternatively, you can stay at one of several airport hotels in the vicinity which are accessible by foot, by the CDGVAL shuttle, or by hotel shuttle bus.

Shower facilities are only available in selected lounges (we have more details of these below) but there are no free shower facilities at the airport. Free water fountains are available for passengers to top up their water bottles however, mostly located next to W.C.s. Remember that you will need to empty your bottle before passing through security.

Luggage storage is a service provided by Bagages du Monde and can be found at Terminal 2 near the railway station. There are no self-service lockers at the airport to make use of. If you are arriving at Terminal 1 or 3, be aware you would need to travel to a different terminal to drop your luggage off. This may not be too bad if you are planning to utilise public transport as Terminal 2 has the most public transport options in any case. Prices vary depending on if you’re dropping off a large item, small item, or accessory.

 

Charles de Gaulle Layout

Terminal 1
The design of Terminal 1 is a multi-level circular central building, with seven satellite sub-terminals branching from it. The main shopping areas are within the main terminal building with designer brands and duty-free shops. Airside food options can be found at the satellite buildings, though there is a small number in the main terminal too. The central building has enclosed glass tube escalators zig-zagging through the open-air middle area, allowing you to reach each floor/level.

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Guide - Terminal

Terminal 1’s design has each level in its centre terminal used with each floor having a primary purpose. Level 2 has landside food options, train connections, and access to other terminals. Level 3 is mainly for check-in, while level 4 is for departures and access to each satellite gate. Level 5 is for arrivals and baggage claim.

Terminal 2
Terminal 2 is home to Air France and all the SkyTeam airlines. It has a train station underneath the terminal allowing connection to the Paris RER regional transit system and the high-speed national TGV trains. Like Terminal 1, Terminal 2 has seven sub-terminals; Terminals 2A, 2B, 2C, 2D, 2E, 2F, and 2G. Every sub-terminal has its own check-in desks, security, and gates. You can travel by foot and moving walkway between the sub-terminals when you are landside, apart from Terminal 2G. The longest walking distance between each sub-terminal is 17 minutes. 

Terminal 2G is a satellite building only accessible by shuttle bus and is 800m away from the rest of Terminal 2. All terminals have food and shopping options both landside and airside, although Terminal 2G has a much-reduced offering. Inversely, Terminal 2E is extensive and has several concourses of gates and even has a public ‘lounge’ area allowing passengers to relax for free in a Parisian-style environment.

Terminal 3
Terminal 3 is a much smaller terminal than 1 and 2 and is a single building design used for budget airlines. The CDGVAL shuttle system can provide access to it from the other terminals. There are a small number of shops and only a handful of food options both before and after security. Departures from Terminal 3 will have you board the plane by bus, as there are no gates with extendable arms in this terminal. If you have a long wait at the airport or require more options, you could consider checking out the landside (i.e. before security) options at Terminal 1 or 2, before heading back to Terminal 3 to catch your flight.

 

Charles de Gaulle Transport Connections

When arriving at Charles de Gaulle, travellers have a wide selection of onward travel, and thankfully the airport has many transport connections available. Whether you are planning to see the sights of Paris, to fly from Paris Orly airport for another flight, feel the magic of Disneyland, or visit elsewhere in France, you can make use of the services from all terminals. If you are planning to spend time in Paris, a tourist Visite pass may be useful which allows you to make use of unlimited public transport, including airport connections, and offers discounts to tourist attractions.

Bus: Buses will take approximately 45-75 minutes to get to the centre of Paris, depending on traffic. Local buses are cheap at €6 per person but have numerous stops en route. Look out for bus numbers 350 and 351 to Paris-Porte de la Chapelle and Paris-Place de la Nation from the bus stops at each terminal.

One direct service to/from the airport is possible with the Roissybus for €13.70 from every terminal. The bus will take you to Paris-Opéra in around 1 hour. Departures are every 15-20 minutes. 

Another direct service the central Paris is ‘Le Bus Direct’, which has two services; One travels to the Eiffel Tower via Porte Maillot and the Champs Elysées, the other to Gare Montparnasse via Gare de Lyon. These buses will cost €18 and only depart from Terminals 1 and 2.

Luggage

Car: Car hire is available at every terminal aside from Terminal 3 and Terminal 2G. If you are flying to these terminals, you will need to make your way to Terminal 1 or Terminal 2A-2F via the automatic CDGVAL shuttle train. Key drop boxes for returning a vehicle are available at all terminals, however.

All the major car rental companies operate from Charles de Gaulle and can be found in Terminal 1 on the level 5 arrivals halls, in the lower level of Terminal 2A-D, or the arrivals area of Terminals 2E/F.

Taxis are found outside all three terminals and operate with a fixed cost when travelling to central Paris. If you are going to a location north of the river Seine (Rive Droite), it will cost you €50. If your destination is south of the Seine (Rive Gauche), the fee is €55.

Rail: There are two main rail connections available at Charles de Gaulle. One is the local Parisian RER system, and the other is the national high-speed TRV line. 

If travelling to central Paris, the RER is best for you and you can get to the city centre in around 35 minutes for €10.30 for a single adult ticket. It’s €7 for children 4-9. If you are at Terminal 2, the train station is underneath the building. You can walk to the station from Terminal 3. If you are at Terminal 1, take the CDGVAL to Terminal 3 and the station is a short walk signposted walk away.

Paris Disneyland

If travelling onwards throughout France, or to Disneyland, then use the TRV service located underneath Terminal 2. If you are at Terminal 1 or Terminal 3, you would need to take the CDGVAL to Terminal 2 first. Trains to Disneyland are €17.50 from the airport. If you’d like to visit Paris first, you can alternatively take the RER into the city and then an RER train out to Disneyland from the central area. The tourist Visite pass would cover the cost of these journeys.

Connections

Charles de Gaulle airport can be a maze, even if you are familiar with travelling through it. Frequent flyers know the airport has a somewhat bad reputation for quick connections. Your experience will vary depending on whether you are leaving or entering the Schengen area as you will need to clear customs. Air France will give a recommended time on their website if you input your arrival and departure terminals. Airside connections are possible, and you can follow signs for ‘Transfer’ when you arrive. If you are a frequent or confident traveller, you may find it quicker to pass through baggage claim and transfer landside, however.

The EasyCDG website recommends 70 minutes to transfer inside the same terminal, and 90 minutes when transferring between terminals. If Charles de Gaulle is a layover on a single ticket, the airline would’ve ensured that the transfer time is enough to allow you to make the next flight. If you have purchased two tickets and are self transferring, you should allow more time in case of security queues, baggage claim, or customs clearance. This might be the case if you are making use of a deal from Paris even though you live elsewhere.

 

Charles de Gaulle Airport Lounges

Airline lounges are spread throughout the main two airport terminals. The smaller terminal 3, however, has no lounge facilities. Terminal 1 has a lounge for all passengers, regardless of which airline they are flying with, called the ‘Icare lounge’. Terminal 2 has the ‘Instant Paris’ lounge, which is free to access for everyone. Note that this lounge isn’t a typical airline lounge with included food and drink, but instead offers more comfortable seating, space, and no security announcements.

Air France

With Air France having such a massive presence at the airport, they have several lounges across Terminal 2. Travellers on SkyTeam partner airlines can make use of them. All of the Air France lounges have shower facilities in them.

Terminal 1 Lounges
Galaxy Lounge
Located on level 10

Icare Lounge
Located on level 10

Lufthansa Lounge
Located at satellite 6

Qatar Airways Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 11

SAS Lounge
Located at satellite 7

Star Alliance Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located on level 10 for business class, level 11 for first-class

Terminal 2 Lounges
Air Canada Lounge
Located at Terminal 2A

American Airlines Admirals Club Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located at Terminal 2A/C on Level 1

Cathay Pacific Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located at Terminal 2A/C on Level 1

El Al Lounge
Located at Terminal 2A/C on Level 1

Emirates Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located at Terminal 2A/C on Level 1

Etihad Lounge (this lounge has shower facilities)
Located at Terminal 2A/C on Level 1

Instant Paris Lounge
Located at Terminal 2E near L Gates

Salon Paris Lounge
Located at Terminal 2C on the lower level

Sheltair Lounge
Located at Terminal 2D on Level 1

Terminal 2 Air France Lounges (all lounges have shower facilities)
Salon Arrivee
Located at Terminal 2C landside (i.e. before going through security)

Salon La Premiere (First Class passengers)
Located at Terminal 2D on Level 1

Salon Terminal 2E-Gates K
Located at Terminal 2E near K Gates on Level 1

Salon Terminal 2E-Gates M
Located at Terminal 2E near L Gates on Level 1

Salon Terminal 2E-Gates M
Located at Terminal 2E near M Gates on Level 1

Salon Terminal 2F
Located at Terminal 2F on Level 1

Salon Terminal 2G
Located at Terminal 2G on Level 1

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